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Amanda Knox: 'I'm afraid to go back' to Italy

By CNN Staff
updated 1:26 AM EDT, Wed May 8, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Amanda Knox says she's considering returning to Italy for a retrial
  • Knox says she has been judged "based upon unrealistic and unreasonable expectations"
  • In a wide-ranging interview, she reveals she is studying self-defense after death threats
  • An Italian court has overturned her acquittal; Knox maintains her innocence

Chris Cuomo's wide-ranging interview with Amanda Knox, "Amanda Knox: The Unanswered Questions," airs at 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday on CNN. Her new memoir "Waiting to Be Heard" is published by HarperCollins.

(CNN) -- Amanda Knox says she's scared to return to Italy to face a new trial nearly six years after her study-abroad roommate's slaying. But she's considering it.

"I'm afraid to go back there," she told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"In Italy," she added, "people think it's arrogant of me to sit here in the United States and have a book come out and defend myself. And first of all, I find that incredibly unfair, because I have the right to defend myself. And no one can ask me to just shut up because it's convenient. But at the same time, I want to prove to them that I care about what's going on."

Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are accused in the 2007 killing of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy.

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In a wide-ranging interview set to air on CNN Tuesday night, Knox spoke to Cuomo about the case against her.

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"I find it incredible that despite an absolute lack of evidence that connects me to this murder, I am still being judged based upon unrealistic and unreasonable expectations about how a young woman would react to a horrible situation," she said. "No one knows how they would react to a horrible situation until it happens to them."

Criticisms that she was cold and unfeeling about her roommate's murder are unfair, she said.

"I have cried. I have been angry. I have been scared. And these were all things ... that I have shown, that have come out of me," she said.

Knox: I wanted to come back from Italy stronger and surer

For years, the twists and turns of the case have drawn international attention.

The case began in 2007, when Knox, then 20, was studying abroad and lived with Kercher.

That November, Kercher's semi-naked body was found at the home where they lived, her throat slashed.

Police arrested Knox and Sollecito, who was her boyfriend at the time. Two years later they were convicted of murder.

Another man, Ivorian drifter Rudy Guede, was convicted separately of Kercher's killing. Guede admitted having sexual relations with Kercher but denied killing her.

Case is complicated, confusing mess

A jury overturned Knox's conviction in 2011, and she flew home to Seattle.

An Italian appeals court overturned Knox's acquittal earlier this year, but experts disagree over whether the U.S. State Department will extradite her to be retried.

She told CNN she was shocked to learn that there would be a retrial.

"There's no evidence against me," she said. "There is nothing that links me to this murder. I am not present at the crime scene. I am just not."

She said theories from Italian police and prosecutors that she was involved in a sex game gone horribly wrong are "absurd."

Opinion: What Knox can and can't tell us

"I was not strapping on leather and bearing a whip. I have never done that. ... I have never taken part in an orgy. Ever," she said.

Prosecutors had no evidence to substantiate their claims, Knox said.

"No one has ever claimed that I was ever taking part in deviant sexual activity. None of my roommates, none of my friends, none of the people who knew me there," she said. "This is simply coming out of the prosecution."

Chris Cuomo\'s interview with Amanda Knox airs at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Chris Cuomo's interview with Amanda Knox airs at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Knox, now 25, spoke to CNN on the heels of the publication of her memoir, "Waiting to be Heard." She reportedly was paid a $3.8 million advance for the book.

Asked by Cuomo during the interview why it looked like she had injuries on her hands, Knox said she was going through self-defense training.

"I've received death threats since I've been home," she said. "And I don't ever want to be caught in a situation that Meredith was caught in where someone is able to overpower me because I just don't know what to do."

"There are not normal people who are fixated on me," she added. "And I don't know what they're capable of. I don't."

Timeline: Kercher murder case

CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin, Hada Messia, Ben Wedeman and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

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